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Safety Tips

  1. Beware the sneaker waves!
  2. They’re called sneaker waves because they appear without warning, often surging high up on the beach with deadly force, and are impossible to predict.

    How to play it safe:

    Never turn your back on the ocean.
  3. Watch those logs
  4. The ocean is strong enough to pick up even the biggest log and plop it down on top of you. Some logs may look small, but even the tiny ones can be waterlogged and weigh tons.

    How to play it safe:

    If you see a log in the surf or on wet sand, stay off it.
  5. Look out for deep water & strong currents
  6. The deeper the water, the greater the risk of falling victim to an undertow (the seaward pull of receding waves breaking onshore). These currents can swiftly sweep unwary beachcombers and waders off their feet and out to sea.

    How to play it safe:

    Stay in shallow water.
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  7. Know the tides
  8. Incoming tides isolate rocks from headlands and the shore. Avoid the temptation of strolling out to an interesting rock without knowing when the tide rolls back in. Free tide tables are readily available at state park offices, information centers and many shops and motels. Know when the tide is coming in by viewing or downloading a tide table.

    How to play it safe:

    Stay off rocks and small, enclosed beaches.
  9. Always assume high waves can reach you
  10. Tides and waves can sweep over rocks, jetties and headlands, knocking you off and carrying you out to sea.

    How to play it safe:

    Assume nothing is “high enough” and avoid exposed rocks, jetties and headlands during strong wave action periods (like during and after storms).
  11. Take care around high, steep cliffs
  12. Assume that all cliff edges are unstable. Wet trails or soft sand and earth can make for unstable footing. Rocks can be slippery even when it is not raining.

    How to play it safe:

    Make sure you wear proper footwear, and stick to the trails. Stay behind guard fences and railings, and don’t get too close to the edge.
  13. Heads up
  14. Standing at the base of an oceanside cliff can be dangerous, especially if it has an overhang. In some places, winter storms and high waves have eroded the shoreline, increasing the chance of collapsing landforms and slides.

    How to play it safe:

    Beware of falling rocks, and don’t climb on bluffs and eroding hillsides. Don’t walk along the base of cliffs unless absolutely necessary.

Oregon Coast Tsunami Information

Oregon Coast Tsunami Information
Tsunami Overview:

Tsunamis are a constant threat to the coasts of our world. Although tsunamis are infrequent along the West coast of the United States, it is possible and necessary to prepare for potential tsunami hazards to minimize loss of life and property.

Tsunamis on the Oregon coast can be caused by either a distant or local event, usually an earthquake. Depending on weather the tsunami threat was caused by a local or distant event, the tsunami emergency responses and warning systems on the Oregon coast differ greatly.

Distant Tsunami Threat:

With a distant event, such as a Tsunami triggered by a major earthquake in Japan, the tsunami would take several hours to reach the Oregon coast. Therefore, local, state and even federal agencies have plenty of time to warn the population of the potential incoming threat.

In Seaside, the city has both a siren and audible speaker warning system that can be heard throughout the city, including at the beach. Upon receiving an official Tsunami Warning notification from NOAA, the City of Seaside will begin to make announcements over the warning speaker system of the incoming tsunami threat. These announcements will be broadcast in both Spanish and English and be rebroadcast on an hourly basis. At the point the tsunami is considered an eminent threat by the City Manager, the audible voice messages will be replaced with an ongoing cycling siren blast, much like an extremely loud police siren. At this point, you should be well on your way to high ground.

In addition to the city speaker warning system, announcements will be broadcast over the NOAA weather radio system. We have provided to you, our valued guests, a programmable NOAA weather radio which is located in the family room on the end table next to the large couch. Upon the Oregon coast receiving an official NOAA Tsunami Warning, the NOAA weather radio will automatically turn on and begin to broadcast the tsunami warnings. For your and future guest’s potential safety, please do not tamper with the radio.

Our property is also located within the City of Seaside’s automated telephone emergency notification system. This system will automatically place a call to our home and notify you of the potential incoming tsunami threat.

Local Tsunami Threat

With a local tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Oregon coast, you will have little time to react and your ONLY WARNING most likely will be when you feel the earth shaking under your feet. If this unfortunate event where to ever happen to you, knowing what to do and where to go may be the only thing that keeps you and your family safe from harm.

What to do:
During an Earthquake:
After an Earthquake:
  • MOVE IMMEDIATELY INLAND

to high ground and away from low-lying coastal areas. Time is very limited, maybe 15 to 20 minutes after a major earthquake occurs. So play it safe during your visit to Seaside, know the evacuation routes beforehand and be sure that anyone old enough to be on their own knows them too. (see "Where To Go" below).

  • GO ON FOOT

if at all possible. Seaside roads can get congested even without a major catastrophe. If your in your car and the roads are clear, by all means drive to high ground. However, if the roads are congested, pull over to the side and immediately head to high ground.

  • DO NOT WAIT

for an official warning. A Local Tsunami can come onshore within 15 to 20 minutes after the earthquake - before there is time for an official warning from the national warning system. The ground-shaking from the earthquake may be the only warning you have. Evacuate quickly!

  • DO NOT PACK

or delay. Their is nothing more important than you and your family's safety. Don't waste time gathering possessions which can easily be replaced. Also, be sure to have a family plan that includes a reunion location once the emergency officials "all clear" has been given. Depending on your group size and ages, it is extremely possible that your group maybe spread out around town. Teenagers could be downtown at the arcade while the parents and younger children are at the beach and others are at home playing games around the dining room table. Although it is a parent's individual choice, it's my opinion that if individuals are old enough to be away from the group, they are old enough to learn the evacuation routes and get to the closest Evacuation Assembly Area on their own. Group members could physically be miles apart from one another. Spending more than a few minutes trying to locate others before heading to high ground could easily put you and those with you lives in jeopardy. Have faith in those you love that they can implement your family plan, find high ground and safety and meet up with you at the designated meeting area once the all clear has been given.

  • DO NOT RETURN

to the beach. Right before a Tsunami reaches shore, the ocean tide will reseed considerably. This event has caused some people to actually go to the beach to observe this strange an curious event only to be met by a tsunami moments later.

  • ONCE SAFE, WAIT

for an "all clear" from local emergency officials before heading to your family's designated meeting area or returning to low-lying areas.

Where to go:
It's Easy When you Know:

The streets in Seaside are numbered and lettered in a sequential ascending manner running parallel to and away from Broadway Ave. Broadway is considered the downtown area of Seaside. All of the numbered Avenues, 1st, 2nd, 3rd… run parallel to and north of Broadway. All the alphabetical lettered avenues, A, B, C… run parallel to and south of Broadway. Therefore, 3rd Avenue would be located 3 blocks north of Broadway, 5th Avenue would 5 blocks north and B Avenue would be 2 blocks south of Broadway. Knowing this simple grid system will help you quickly figure out which evacuation route is the closest to your current location.

There are four primary evacuation routes in Seaside and the closest one to you will depend on where you are at the time of a major event. The four major evacuation route, listed in order from the furthest north of town to the furthest south, are as follows:

  • 12th Avenue
  • Broadway Avenue
  • S Avenue
  • Sunset Blvd

A Loafer’s Paradise is located at 17th Avenue. So if you were in our home at the time of a major event, then 12th Avenue would be your closest evacuation route. If you were downtown having lunch, then Broadway would be the closest route. Or, if you are walking back to our home from downtown and are currently at 8th Avenue, then you can quickly do the math in your head and know that Broadway would be 8 blocks south of you while 12th Avenue was only 4 blocks north.

All the evacuation routes are supposed to have sign age directing you to the closest assembly area. However, since I have found that the state Tsunami brochure information currently being used and distributed throughout Seaside is somewhat outdated (as of July 19, 2011), I would suggest that once you have identified the closest evacuation point to you, immediately go to it and head west until you are as far up in the hills as you can possibly go, or, once close to the top, you are directed elsewhere by evacuation signage. Please note that the inaccurate information contained in the state’s Tsunami brochure dated (11/05) primarily has to do with the type of sirens used to warn the general population of the treat of a potential Distant Tsunami. The evacuation route maps are accurate.

Best way to keep your family Safe!
  • Be Informed

If thus far, you have read all the information above, then you are probably more informed than the average Seaside visitor as to what to do in the case of a major earthquake or tsunami in Seaside, Oregon. The best way to reduce the risk of injury for those traveling with you, is to ensure that anyone considered old enough to be on their own should also be considered old enough to know this information, where to go and where to meet after the all clear has been given. For in the event of a local tsunami caused by a major earthquake, everyone in your group, no matter where they are or who they are with, need to immediately head to high ground and not waste precious time searching for those somewhere else in Seaside.


  • Have a Family Plan

The family plan is simple. If they are old enough to be on their own in Seaside, then they are old enough to understand the importance of getting to high ground as quickly as possible and have the ability to find one of the recommended tsunami routes to do so. The family plan should establish a final meeting place after the all clear has been give by the local authorities. We recommend that this meeting place be one of the Assembly Areas on the map which are located within a high ground area. It should not be back at our home or another main spot in downtown since they will most likely not be standing. However, if all goes as planned, you and your family should hopefully all be safe, uninjured and reunited. And that's all we could ever really hope for.

Being Prepared in the event of an Oregon Tsunami

This video explains the differences between a local tsunami verses one caused by a distant event, what to expect, how to be prepared along with what to do it one finds themselves on the coast during either one of these events. It offers guidelines for correct tsunami response from local emergency managers, first-responders, and leading experts on tsunami hazards and warning systems who have been working on ways of making the affected Oregon coast tsunami regions safer for the people and communities on a long-term basis.

This video was produced by the US Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI).

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